Sector: Property
Issue: Landlord and tenant disputes

Andrew Grant, Director: Peter was referred to us by one of our other clients following his lengthy and unsuccessful attempts to resolve a disrepair problem with his tenants.

Water leaking into a busy shop below the tenant’s flat was causing serious problems and yet the issue had dragged on for years. The case involved a leasehold relationship and these contract disputes can easily escalate into legal battles. There were a variety of different legal angles upon which the case could have been approached: however, what Peter needed was practical commercial advice, not to be bombarded with legalese and encouraged into expensive litigation. We advised Peter to follow a two-step approach which he was able to progress himself, and to come back to us if he did not secure the co-operation of his tenant.

Peter did manage to resolve the issue by following our advice and without going to law. Peter’s case is a good example of the firm’s overall approach. We believe solid practical and commercial advice can often be as good as legal advice in these situations. Litigation is expensive and never has a guaranteed outcome so we focus on defining and achieving the objective. In Peter’s case the pressing objective was to stop the water inngress as quickly as possible to prevent further damage. By outlining a planned approach we were able to save Peter both time and money, enabling him to avoid going to law and access our support where necessary. It is this approach which our clients find refreshing and I believe why we build such strong relationships with them.

Peter Blanchard, Landlord: The dispute had been ongoing for a number of years and was increasing in its severity. I had already involved a firm of local solicitors who didn’t seem able to resolve the situation and advised that my option was to issue proceedings against my tenants. I was referred to Ballantyne Grant by friends whose company had used the firm and highly recommended them.

Dealing with a specialist litigation practice as opposed to a local solicitor made an immediate and positive difference. Good advice addressed the core issue in a pragmatic way, avoiding litigation and minimising cost.

One of the most important things that Andrew offered was straight talk. With long experience in property and leasehold disputes he understood the problem straightaway, gave informed rational analysis and advice on the courses of action, costs and likely outcomes. Most importantly he achieved the desired outcome for us, getting the water leak stopped, and managed to do that without issuing proceedings.

There are clear advantages to working with a specialist litigation solicitor and doing so actually meant I avoided the costs and uncertainty of litigation. Any landlord in a similar position could benefit from a chat with Andrew.

Call our Chester office on (01244) 394230 for more information about help with a property dispute or to make an enquiry.